As Wizards and Magic continue trade talks, Rashard Lewis' name has entered the discussions, according to one source. Posted by Matt Moore
Hot on the heels of reports that talks between Orlando and Washington are stirring, a number of other developments have occurred. Orlando Pinstriped Post, the blog that first reported talks had resumed between the Magic and Wizards on December 1st is reporting that a source has indicated Rashard Lewis has been included in trade talks with the Washington Wizards in the Magic's ongoing pursuit of Gilbert Arenas.
Internet reports (yes I realize they're all internet reports) have started cropping up regarding the possibility of a deal being done, but a source tells CBSSports.com's Ken Berger that no deal is "imminent" though talks are ongoing.
Moving Lewis would be a huge move for Orlando, bigger than Vince Carter. It would mean taking their biggest anchor of a contract off their books, though they'd have to add on something equally laborious. The Wizards do have newly-extended Andray Blatche who seems to have worn out his welcome, alongside Arenas' massive contract. There's also the possibility of a third team getting involved with talks, with Portland, Charlotte, and Houston all heavy in trade discussions of the past week.
The Magic are aiming for something big to remake the team and get them to the next level, the one Boston currently perches atop like Zeus on the mountain. Debate will rage should they choose to add Arenas if he is the kind of player that can get him there. As it stands, Arenas is a better facilitator than Carter, but a less efficient scorer, and one with a higher usage. According to Synergy Sports, Arenas has been the superior defender this season, allowing .83 points per possession to Carter's 1.00.
Of course, all of this discounts the immeasurable intangible questions associated with Arenas. It's hard to find a player with worse recurring injury issues than Vince Carter, but Arenas fits the bill. This is all before the whole "bringing firearms to his place of work" thing.
Lewis has been a staple of the Orlando offense, and was a huge part of the 2009 Finals run for the Magic. But as he's gotten older, he's become an even worse rebounder, and has lost his ability to create his own shot. As a result, the offense stagnates under him. Moving him would be a boon, even if they took back someone limited. If they were to get a more traditional power forward, perhaps, it might be a win for the Magic.
We'll keep you posted.